Nutrition & Exercise Smoothie The Combination for Inspiration

Why Sitting on Your Butt Can Be a Real Pain in the Ass

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P1070714 (This is where I spent most of my summer!)

My friends! So sorry to have been away for so long.

For those of you that don’t know, I published two contemporary romance novels on Amazon this summer: Cheating to Survive & Every Five Years. It has been rewarding and exhausting. The editing and marketing of both books have kept me from posting on Nutrition & Exercise Smoothie. But now that both books are published, I have returned. (For your patience, I have a special deal for you at the end of this blogpost. Stay tuned).

All that sitting though, took a toll on me. For those of you that know me, I don’t sit. At all.

  • I’ve lifted weights at various gyms for almost 30 years
  • I’ve run 5K’s, Mud Runs, and Spartan Races
  • I Rock Climb
  • I played volleyball (briefly)
  • I go to playgrounds and amusement parks and water parks with my daughters and actually go on all the rides
  • I garden like mad, and enjoy a good, deep, house cleaning

I don’t sit. I don’t watch TV.

So, sitting while writing and editing and marketing 2 books this summer, was new to me and I hated it. I also had no time for other things. Like exercise.

  1. After months of not going to the gym, I finally made an attempt back in April, only to find that my membership had expired! I didn’t bother renewing it knowing that I was publishing the following month
  2. I only rock climbed once in over a year
  3. I never ran. No races. I didn’t even walk around the block!
  4. I went to a water park once and it rained :(
  5. My house and car were both gross! GROSS!
  6. My backyard was overgrown with weeds instead of flowers!

And I felt it.

P1070716 (My winter hangout for writing)

I started getting horrible pains in my lower back, in my butt, and shooting down my legs. I never experienced pain like this before. It really bothered me. I thought I had some terrible disease. I tried different stretches but nothing relieved it. Every time I sat at a desk or in my car, pain shot down my leg. It was difficult to sit for more than a few minutes.

Luckily, I work in a hospital with wonderful physical therapists. When I told them my symptoms, they said, “That’s weird,” (knowing me) “That usually happens from inactivity. From sitting around all day.”

BAM!  Realization.

I needed to move. I started walking and standing more. I took the stairs as much as I could. I started riding my neglected bike around the neighborhood for a half hour. 2 weeks ago, I spent a day gardening for almost seven hours and I loved it! Then I cleaned my entire house and my car, too.

With the novels behind me now, I feel better. I’m more active and I just rejoined the gym. I hope to return to rock climbing in Autumn.

I spent last weekend walking across the Brooklyn Bridge with my dad and family. bridge1

This whole experience has taught me something, though. (The sitting on my butt and being in constant pain part, not the getting up and moving around part).

  1. You can’t do everything. There’s not enough time in the day. (Unless of course you spend five hours a day watching TV).
  2. But…more importantly: Sitting is deadly! Get up!

If I could do it all again, I’d have made working out, walking, and just exercising in general, more of a priority. There were times I was so excited about writing the next chapter, that I intentionally drove past the gym, went home, and plopped my butt in my computer chair. But now that the gorgeous, short summer is over here in New York, and I spent it editing, (albeit on my front porch), I want to be active again.

Here’s a great link, (thanks to my cousin Joe at Anastasi Fitness) about the Hazards of Sitting:

http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/national/the-health-hazards-of-sitting/750/

And another on How to Undue the Damage of Sitting:

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/08/05/undo-the-damage-of-sitting/

My BEST advice to you though, is get up and move. Every day. At one point I was in so much pain, I thought I screwed something up so I sat even more!  They said the pain was from my bones fusing together. That’s all I needed to hear. I needed to loosen them up and get moving.

So get up my friends. NO more sitting. Get those muscles and bones unfused and do something now.

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Have you ever experienced pain, from sitting too much? Let me know.

I love hearing from you!

P.S.  I’m giving you a special deal for all your support and patience while you waited for a new post. My first Novel, Cheating to Survive,  if you would like to read it, is on sale this week (August 25 – August 29th) for only 99 cents. Book 2, Every Five Years, is only $3.99. Grab both for $4.98. Enjoy. And thanks again. Love you guys!

Cheating to Survive – 99 cents – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K87TGG4

Every Five Years – $3.99 - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MNPVZWM

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How to Easily Transition to a Plant-Based Diet

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plant based diet

By Christine Ardigo MSRD

Vegan, Vegetarian, Lacto-Ovo, Raw Foods, where do you begin?

I receive many questions about going meatless. But when people tell me they stopped eating meat, I see them eating brownies and chips instead. “But it’s meatless,” they’ll say. Um, no. That’s not how it goes. I also have a lot of people tell me that when they went meat-free they were always hungry so they munched on carbs all day long, which in turn just left them hungrier. If you’re making the switch to a completely meat-free diet, then I’m hoping your overall goal is to eat healthier. Yes, it’s confusing. Where do you begin?

Ahh, my friends, I have that answer for you today! Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Holly Zyquierdo. I became friendly with Holly recently and was thrilled to have her guest post about how she transitioned her family to a Plant-Based diet. She has a great story to tell about why and how she changed, and the best part: she created a fantastic 79 page book The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide. It has tips on on getting started, what to eat, sample meal plans, and of course: delicious recipes for you to try! Take It Away Holly!

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The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide: How to Cook, Shop, and Eat Well

How it Began

A few years ago I was sick. My whole body hurt, I always felt bad, and I began having some pretty severe bladder problems. I can speak boldly about this now but at the time I felt very isolated. In desperation I searched for answers but I didn’t find them. Even the specialists were unable to “fix” me.

Then I discovered a different kind of solution. It wasn’t a drug or procedure. It was food, real, whole food.

Getting Healthy

I began a whole food, plant-based diet and within two months my symptoms were gone. My painful bladder problems and joint pain disappeared. I also lost weight without trying. My husband got healthier also. He lost 50 pounds and no longer needs medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, acid reflux or asthma.

A Blog was Born

The hardest part of our lifestyle change was getting started. We were determined but we had a really hard time finding resources. In the early days, I didn’t even know to google, “plant-based diet” so I started a blog, My Plant-Based Family, to document our journey. Eventually I was able to help others get healthier by ditching processed and unhealthy foods. I wanted so badly to be able to put an easy to read resource in their hands so I wrote The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide: How to Cook, Shop and Eat Well.

The Plant-Based Diet Starter Guide is an ebook and available as a PDF download or on Amazon for $5.99.

About the Book

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The ebook is perfect for anyone wanting to eat healthier, especially those trying to add more fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes to their diet. I leave the science to the doctors and focus on the real “how to’s” of making a diet change work including how to shop, cook, and meal plan.

I also offer encouragement for families who are striving to make healthier choices, especially for those with family members who are not receptive to diet change.

To wrap it up I’ve included a collection of our favorite tried and true recipes. These are the recipes I hear rave reviews about over and over again.

If you’d like to purchase the PDF version I’m offering a coupon code for 25% off for a limited time. Use the code INEEDTHISBOOK

I also create allergy-friendly recipes and free weekly Meal Plans at My Plant-Based Family. For those with specialty diets I also create Custom Meal Plans that look at your individual preferences (taste, time, expense) and create a personalize Meal Plan just for you.

Soon I’ll launch a new endeavor that will help families who have recently been diagnosed with food allergies.

Holly Yzquierdo is a plant-based food blogger and food allergy advocate. She creates incredible recipes that are easy, delicious, and allergy-friendly. Read more at My Plant-Based Family. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, PinterestGoogle+ and Instagram.

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So there you go! Everything you need to know to get started on your way to a healthier summer. Spend the weekend purchasing new foods and try some new recipes. If you go meatless, make sure you eat foods that are healthy, high in fiber and will keep you full.

Do any of you already eat a plant-based diet? What were your obstacles? Do you feel better now? What are your favorite recipes?

I hope you check out Holly’s book and let me know what you think. If you try any of her recipes, let us know.

I love hearing from you!

The greatest compliment you can give me is when you share this with others.
I sincerely appreciate it:

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Cut the Salt, Kick up the Taste Challenge!

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Are you Up for the Challenge? 

I would like to introduce you to Bonnie Giller  ★ Weight Loss Expert-Mindful Eating Coach★ Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor ★ Diabetes Management Specialist ★

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She has a Challenge for you and I hope you take her up on it. It’s easy, free and just another small step you can take to improve your health. Take it away Bonnie:

 

Should you take note of how much sodium you are consuming daily?

Many people believe that they do not have to worry about the sodium content in the foods they choose to eat unless they have health issues such as heart disease or high blood pressure.

Don’t be fooled! The truth is that most people are consuming sodium at levels way above recommended daily values.

Consuming too much sodium can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

You may be thinking that it is too hard to give up the salt shaker.  You are concerned that food will become tasteless and bland.  No need to worry! Nature has given us a wide variety of spices and herbs to add to your plate that will not only increase variety and flavor to your meals, but also add health benefits!

It’s time to FIRE UP THOSE TASTE BUDS!

Join the 30 Day Cut your Salt Challenge that starts May 1st!

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This challenge will help you BREAK YOUR SALT HABIT, improve your health, AND increase the PLEASURE of your eating experience.

Each day, you will receive an email containing info on the Spice or Herb of the Day and a simple way to use the spice or herb for that particular day.  Feel free to use your own recipes, spices, and herbs already in your cabinet as well!

It is totally free to sign up. There will also be prizes and added bonuses for participant

So what do you have to lose except your salt habit?

Sign Up Here today for more details.  Are you up for the challenge?

Spread the word and tell your family and friends too!

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Re-Think Weight Loss by Putting Some Thought into It

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Sometimes even the thought of trying to lose weight is daunting.  Weight loss is never pleasurable.  It’s much easier to sit on the couch and eat mindlessly.  But one day a feeling of helplessness overtakes us and we decide to make a change.  We choose some crazy new diet. The quick fix! But what happens when we go off the diet and revert to our old eating habits?  All the weight comes back on. It is time to rethink weight loss and actually put some “thought” into it.
We’re all busy, and tired, but some of our lack of energy is from not exercising and our poor eating habits to begin with.  We have our excuses, but instead of looking at it as weight loss, think of launching smaller goals such as giving up soda, finding healthier recipes for old favorites that are delicious, getting involved in a sport you once loved.   Smaller, more attainable goals can slowly change your current lifestyle and help you lose weight, while keeping a positive spin on it.  One pound of weight loss per week will result in 52 pounds lost by this time next year.  One year might seem like a long time, but think about how many years you’ve been over weight and trying to lose. michelle fountain

The most important thing you can do is educate yourself.  Begin by reading food labels (more information can be found in this link)

  • The first four ingredients (fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and salt) should all be 10% or less of the “% daily value”.
  • Choose foods with at least 5gms of protein and 5gms of fiber per serving to ensure nutrient dense foods.
  • Every 15gms of “Total Carbohydrate” equals one carbohydrate/starch serving. (think=1 slice of bread)
  • The first five ingredients are what the food contains the most of.  Look for foods with the least amount of ingredients possible. (More information on that Here)
  • Avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated vegetables oils.
  • Look through all the food labels in your house today and you may be surprised.

Here are some basic rules for you to begin with.

  1. Eat 5-6 “small” meals a day, eat every three hours like clockwork.  This will prevent you from feeling hungry, which will help you make correct food choices when presented to you.
  2. A quarter of your plate should be meat, a quarter whole grain starch, and the other half should be vegetables and/or a salad.
  3. Avoid any beverages besides milk and water, do not waste your calories on drinks.
  4. Remember, if you do not buy it, it will not be there for you to eat.
  5. If you limit the packaged, pre-made, processed foods, you will be left with the nutritious outer aisles of the supermarket.

Your Supermarket Journey:

  • Brightly colored fruits and vegetables begin your supermarket journey.  The recommended 5-9 servings a day can easily be incorporated into your 6 small meals by adding 1-2 serving to each one.  Look at your shopping cart, half of it should contain fruits and veggies.
  • Next, onto protein rich meats.  Fill your home with lean cuts of beef; chicken and turkey breasts; Omega-3 loaded fish and eggs. Protein will keep you full, unlike carbs that leave you feeling hungry an hour later.
  • Onto calcium and Vitamin D rich dairy products.  Milk and yogurt will curb your appetite with its high protein content. Greek yogurt has 2-3 times the amount of protein as regular yogurt.
  • Turn down your final aisle of wholesome, fiber rich grains.  Fill your cart with only 100% whole wheat breads, wraps, pastas, brown rice and cereals.  Try something new like Steel cut oats, Ezekiel bread, Quinoa, Kashi products.

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Once you try new foods and recipes, and found things you love, you won’t feel you’re missing out on any of your old favorites.  Every week drop one “bad” food in your house and refuse to buy it again.  Then buy one new healthy food and you won’t feel deprived. Continue to read food labels and buy new cook books.  Skip the take out and even the restaurant dinners: you never really know what they are adding to your foods.

 
 
Pull it all Together in a Sample Meal Plan
Breakfast: Steel cut oats, mixed with fresh blueberries, almonds, and flaxseed                                  with one egg on the side, and glass of low fat milk.
Snack:  Pear slices with one Kashi Oatmeal Chocolate chip cookie.
Lunch:  Whole wheat wrap with grilled chicken, avocado, walnuts, dried cranberries,
               red pepper strips, shredded carrots and spinach leaves.
Snack:  Greek yogurt with diced mangoes.
Dinner: Broiled salmon with baked sweet potato, grilled broccoli, and edamame.
Snack:  Fresh strawberries drizzled with chocolate syrup and 2 TBSP Reddi-Whip.
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Healthy, delicious and only 1,650 Calories. Filling, satisfying, plenty of fruits and veggies and even a few desserts. One Small change a week, makes 52 BIG changes by the end of the year!

What small changes will you try to incorporate into your new week? Have you made any changes so far? What change had the biggest results?

I love hearing from you!

The greatest compliment you can give me is when you share this with others.
I sincerely appreciate it:

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Are you Tough Enough to Try a Mudd Run?

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Photo taken at 1:00  Register for Rugged Maniac at www.ruggedmaniac.com

By Christine Ardigo MSRD

Are you a Tough Mudder?

The same day that we completed our first Spartan Race, my friend Evelyn asked if I wanted to sign up for a Mudd Run. I hadn’t recovered from the Spartan race yet but I still had that post race high, so of course, I signed up!

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My family had accompanied me to the Spartan Race to cheer me on and when I crossed the finish line, my fifteen year old daughter Ashley, was so pumped herself, she said she wanted to run one of these some day. When Evelyn asked me to do the Mudd Run, I noticed that teenagers were also allowed to participate. I asked Ashley if she wanted to try this with me and she couldn’t say yes fast enough.

I have to say, the Spartan race I trained for. I ran on the treadmill, I used the StairMaster, I ran up stairs, I used the rowing machines, lifted weights, jogged around the block, ran up and down bleachers with a twenty five pound vest on me, and I joined Crossfit for two months, which taught me to do burpees, flip 185lb tires, do box jumps and climb a rope. I was ready and prepared for whatever came my way.

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For the Mudd Run though, since I was running it with my daughter and several other friends, I decided to just enjoy myself. No competition, no obtaining the ‘best’ time, I was so excited to have Ashley run with me, I just wanted us to have fun and share this day with her.

The day of the race, we felt no pressure, just pure excitement.   MudRaceJune2013_0009

We had a noon start time and the July 29th day was sunny and hot. We had no idea what we were up against because the trail started off in the distance, and continued out of sight. We got our bib numbers, grabbed our last sips of water and lined up, pumped and ready to go!

And then…..we were off! It hadn’t rained in a while and the initial start was over dusty, dirt trails and up and over hills that were hard to get a grip on. Climbing up was somewhat difficult but once we reached the top we realized: “how do you get down now!” It was a giant, dehydrated, desiccated slide down mounds of dirt and back up again.   MudRaceJune2013_0014

We ran over a large open field of pure asphalt and the sun beat down hard on us. We climbed up and over many wooden rails too.  1

And then we…..walked. We ended up walking the rest of the way. There were many obstacles and the sun was strong by mid afternoon. There was only one rest stop for water so we decided to enjoy the day together. We walked through tall grasses, climbed many wooden towers,  jumped over walls, hurdles, and over rope mazes. MudRaceJune2013_0022

We saw young and old, sprinters and walkers, men and women, even a man in full army gear tackling the trails.Photo taken at 12:58  Register for Rugged Maniac at www.ruggedmaniac.com

But what about the MUD?

We were wondering about that too.

And then there was mud. Lots of it. After walking for almost a half hour through barren asphalt, out in the open with no shade and several climbs, we were rewarded with pools of muddy water. We had to wade through them on our stomachs, balance across a narrow beam to prevent ourselves from falling in more muddy water and then had to dunk our entire heads underwater to get to the other side of a man made pool with four feet of muddy water.

Then it was all pure MUD. Photo taken at 1:00  Register for Rugged Maniac at www.ruggedmaniac.com      Photo taken at 1:00 Register for Rugged Maniac at www.ruggedmaniac.com Inside tunnels, under strings, and back out to the trails again.

We truly had a blast that day. We laughed and joked and cheered each other on. There was no competition with us, no pressure to finish at a certain time. It was a day of fun with my daughter and my friends and that was all that mattered. Yes there were some tough points, but we helped each other through and had an amazing day. Memories that we will never forget. Something that money cant buy.

After a good hour and a half, we neared the finish line and saw the mighty Mudd Slide before us. THIS WAS OUR REWARD! 1

Photo taken at 1:34  Register for Rugged Maniac at www.ruggedmaniac.com  2      MudRaceJune2013_0047copy3     4

Although not as tough as the Spartan Race, the Mudd Run was equally as fun. The Spartan Race was for me, to show how strong I could be, to show how fast I could compete. I trained and kicked ass! The Mudd Run though, was the most fun anyone could have with their child. We hope to do something like this every year, and when my youngest is old enough, she will join us too. MudRaceJune2013_0051copy

Have you ever completed a Tough Mudder or any other fun race?  Which ones?

Color runs, Zombie runs? And which ones were your favorite? Did you do it for fun or for pure competition?

Spring is here! Look up some races in your area and make a date with some friends and make some memories while you’re at it! And let me know all about it.

I love hearing from you!

Some Races to Try:

The Muddy Buddy

Run Ruckus

Tough Mudder

Warrior Dash

Spartan Race

MudRaceJune2013_0070copy ALL CLEAN!

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Finding Happiness is as Easy as Remembering a Childhood Dream

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

Several months ago, I wrote a post on finding happiness (you can read it HERE). I asked you what really makes you happy. Not material objects, because they flitter away when the next shiny item comes along. But to find a passion you have or had at one point, some long distant desire that vanished.

One day on the radio, I listened to two DJ’s speak about doing something they always wanted to do, and more importantly, were they currently employed in a career that they had dreamed of when they were little?

At first, both DJ’s laughed and said “No way, I never saw myself doing this.” But then as they continued to talk, one of them suddenly had a recollection. It appeared out of no where. All of a sudden he remembered a photograph his mother took of him when he was six years old.

He used to play album after album on his record player and before the next song started, he would hold up a fake microphone to his mouth and announce each song before it began. He did it all the time. Like a real DJ on the radio. At six! He wondered if his passion buried itself deep within him, but then resurfaced and pushed him toward the career he had now.

It lit a spark in me.

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I loved reading as a child, and looked forward to my father taking me to Barnes & Noble to buy a new book. At 10 years old, I was obsessed with Nancy Drew and collected over twenty books, devouring them in less than four hours, unable to wait for my next one.

In 6th grade I wrote two novels, part of The Linda Wells Mysteries. I wrote them in a spiral notebook complete with hand drawings.  It was then that I decided I wanted to write a real novel one day.

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When I graduated high school though, the thought of majoring in English scared me. What would I do when I graduated? Sit home all day and write books? I was afraid and with no guidance I chose Nutrition as my major and received a Masters in Exercise Physiology. My two other loves.

Although I went on to lead a pretty fulfilling life, there was something missing, no real goal, no end point to reach for.

One boring Saturday evening in September, a year and a half ago, I sat in front of my computer and just decided to write. And write and write. It became an obsession. Something I buried away for years, had finally unleashed. It was my passion. Storytelling. Something I lost sight of as I traveled down my conveyor belt of a life.

It took over as my new obsession, leaving rock climbing and weight lifting in the dust. I found myself spending Friday & Saturday nights writing in my basement, alone. It’s all I wanted to do.

So here I am today, to let you know that I wrote 2 contemporary romance novels, I’m in the process of editing them both now, and plan on publishing them this summer, with the hope that someone will love them as much as I loved writing them.

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I hope you join me on my journey and follow me on my Author Website to learn more about my books, and meet the characters that took on a life of their own, and even get involved with some interesting conversations that surround my book like:

  1. Is it ever okay to cheat on your spouse?
  2. Did you, or anyone you know, stay married for much longer than you should have? Why?
  3. If divorced, what was the final breaking point?

And much more!

What’s your passion? What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but put it on the back burner? Was there a dream you had that you did finally fulfill? What was it? Are you working in a job now that you love?

I love hearing from you!

The greatest compliment you can give me is when you share this with others.
I sincerely appreciate it:

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6 Ridiculous Tricks that Might Actually Help you Lose Weight

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

These tips are only little tricks to get you over the hump. The best weight loss strategy is behavioral changes that, over time make big changes. But with every weight loss strategy, there are times when you need that little push, or a tiny trick to get you through the day.

SIP of MILK 

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I’m starting with my favorite trick. The sip of milk! Don’t laugh but when I decreased my calories significantly, and also hit the gym 5 days a week, I was always hungry. This is the main reason diets fail. HUNGER PAINS! They’re the worst.

Your body doesn’t know it’s trying to lose weight, it thinks it’s starving, (literally) and cranks up that stomach growling. It’s distracting, annoying and frustrating. My cure? Sip of Milk!

I take a shot glass sized slug of milk, a mere 25 calories, and it’s enough to shut up my stomach until you get to your next meal. 25 calories won’t mess up your calorie allowance for the day and you also won’t be starving when you eat our next meal, thereby helping you make a healthy choice.

 

BRUSHING your TEETH 

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For me, this helps tremendously at work, where the nurses lounges are filled with delicious snacks. I brush AND floss after breakfast and lunch and even if I see a brownie with walnuts (my favorite!) I don’t wan’t to ruin my fresh breath and have food stuck in my teeth. This works great after dinner too, to prevent those late night munchies.

 

DON’T MAKE YOURSELF LUNCH 

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No, I don’t mean skip a meal. I mean when you’re home with your kids and preparing their lunches, don’t prepare anything for yourself. I know so many parents that eat their whole lunch, and then finish off their children’s leftovers. The next thing you know you’ve eaten twice as much as you should have. Make their lunch, clean up the kitchen and when they run off to play, finish their leftovers.

 

TINY DINNERS

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Back in the day, my husband loved barbecuing everything. While not entirely bad, many of the foods were fatty meats: spareribs, chicken wings, sausages, etc. Then he’d make a big pot of mashed potatoes, or white rice. I loved that he cooked dinner every night (it meant that I didn’t have to) but I hated to insult his choice of foods, so instead, I ate very little. 2 chicken wings, or 1 spare rib, or just a tiny thin piece of thin sausage. I skipped the starch and just ate a few raw veggies on the side.

I went to bed shortly after dinner so I wasn’t hungry. If I was, I would just brush my teeth. Honestly though, after eating so little every night for dinner, my stomach got used to it and the hunger pangs disappeared. Plus my breakfasts were pretty large, so I just ate my usual breakfast when I woke up.

 

WATER

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No, water is not a magical weight loss potion that will melt fat away like everyone thinks. What it does do, is a couple of things. First, most people don’t realize that they’re really thirsty and not hungry. And second, if you drink enough, it will fill up your stomach.

For example, I eat lunch around 1:30pm every day. Today around noon I started feeling restless, like I wanted to go to lunch early. But then I remembered that I didn’t drink my water on the way to work and one of my 4oz milks I usually drink with breakfast was spoiled, so I only drank a total of 4oz of fluid since dinner the night before! I must have been so dehydrated.

I went to the nourishment kitchen and immediately chugged 4 Cups of water. Within five minutes, I was less cranky and agitated, I wasn’t hungry or thirsty, and my belly actually felt full. Really full. I went back to work and then came down for lunch at 1:30pm without that need to stuff my face with a ton of food. I was refreshed and relaxed.

 

PRE PORTION FOOD – PLAN AHEAD

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This one isn’t ridiculous, but it is a great trick. Planning ahead and packing up the right portion sizes of foods to bring with you to work or for an outing, works like a charm. There’s no chance of over eating something when the portion size is already measured out. And when you bring your food, there’s little chance you’ll dump it and purchase take-out instead.

What’s your favorite tricks? What works best for you? If you give any of these a try, let me know!

I love hearing from you!

The greatest compliment you can give me is when you share this with others.
I sincerely appreciate it:

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The 10 Healthiest Foods you Need to Eat Right Now

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adammmBy Christine Ardigo MSRD

Top Foods to Include in Your Diet

I always say, if you include the healthiest of foods into your diet, there won’t be any room left for the junk. Plan ahead, pack your meals the night before, eat everything you wrapped up, and then end the day knowing you filled your body with everything it needed.

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How to Enjoy your Vacation Without Gaining any Weight

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By Christine Ardigo MS RD

I just returned from a week long cruise with my family and friends, all 42 of us. Gorgeous 85 degree temps, glistening transparent oceans, and of course, tons of food!

Those of you that know me, know I have a serious obsession love desserts! My friend James and I had the pleasure of sharing every dessert created on the ship. One night in particular, I couldn’t decide between 7 different scrumptious ones so I asked James to help me eat them. He thought I was insane, but I ordered each and every one and yes, we devoured all 7 of them. This went on for the remainder of the trip.

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10 Tips to Help your Children Cut Back on their Sugar Intake

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chris spag1By Christine Ardigo MSRD

C is for Cookies, Cake, Candy & Cupcakes!

Think your kids are eating way too many sweets? Are you trying to find ways to decrease it? (Me too). Here are some quick tips to get you started:                                                                                                              Read More

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Nutritious & Delicious Breakfast Choices

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

Start your Morning off with a Healthy Breakfast!

Good Morning!  Checking your emails before breakfast? Good, because today you’ll find some great breakfast examples and also see how amazing eggs really are.                                                                           Read More

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12 Inspirational Stories to Get You Off Your Butt

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

Running, Biking, Swimming, so Many Races to Try! I’ve written many posts on weightlifting, my true love and passion for many reasons, like here and here and here. But cardio is just as important for our lungs and heart, therefore I dedicate this wonderful post to all of you that get out there and do it and to hopefully inspire those of you that don’t.

I ran three 5k races several years ago and loved the excitement surrounding the races. I completed a Spartan Race in April and a Mudd Run with my daughter in June. But to really inspire you, I am lucky enough to have 12 amazing people in my life that want to share their stories with you. Why they started entering races, what they felt like while training, and of course, what it felt like to complete a race. Without further ado, here are their stories. I hope it motivates you and moves you as much as it did me.                                                       Read More

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How Many Colors Did You Eat Today?? 5-9 Fruits & Veggies a Day

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

How Many am I Supposed to Eat???

It’s recommended that we eat 5-9 fruits and vegetables every day. Every day. If you have 5 small meals a day, and have one at each meal, that’s five right there.  It’s entirely doable!

I counsel clients all the time and they tell me they eat plenty of fiber, but once we run down their usual list, it consists of some low fiber Cheerios, an apple with the skin peeled off and mashed potatoes at dinner. Women need 25 gms of fiber and men need 38 gms of fiber every day. Food labels will tell you how much fiber a product contains per serving. Although fruits and vegetables do not have labels, they are naturally high in fiber and for an added benefit, they provide water and fluid to keep all that fiber flowing smoothly though your intestines.

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Getting Through the Holidays Without Gaining a Pound

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

How Much Will you Gain this Holiday Season?

The holidays are upon us and the gift no one wants to get stuck with is “those extra pounds.” Between the parties, stress, and holiday food, you need a plan to deal with these tempting eating occasions.  Holidays should be a time of memories, thanks and laughter with family and friends, but there is always a huge amount of food available. We need to eat healthier and lighter on non-party days, and increase our exercise as well. Here are some tips to get you started.

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Exercise Plan to Show off your Sexy Abs by Next Summer!

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

How to Create Abs to Die For

As promised in my post about Building Sexy Muscles, I now bring you tried and true ways to flatten that belly and build some cute Ab muscles.

FIRST! I must dispel a myth. Your Abs are like any other muscle, you cannot spot reduce them. That’s like saying if i do 500 Bicep curls on my right arm every day I will lose the fat there. Um, NO. Lifting weights will only result in building beautiful muscles, it does not magically strip the fat away in that area just because you’re exercising it.

THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN LOSE THE FAT IS BY LOSING WEIGHT. Click Here for meal plan and weight loss ideas.

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